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A short story about cats

Cognisant

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Short story inspired by the HFY story in the video linked below called "The Mayor":

The negotiator arrives in the mayor's office and presents the agreement by putting a hologram emitter on the table "now as you can see our terms are quite agreea-" the cat looks away in feigned disinterest "uh well we could remove some fees for-" the cat looks at the alien and without breaking eye contact knocks the emitter off the table. "Oh well, yes, I suppose that we could amend some of the finer points", the alien contacts its team by neural-implant [HOW do they already KNOW what's in the contract!?!] the alien's attempts to swindle the cat continue for a few minutes as his team covertly feeds him information via silent electronic telepathy.

[Sir this creature isn't human]

[IDIOT! Tell me something I don't know!]

[Well it's native to Earth and it's not an uplifted domestic animal, rather it seems this species domesticated humans]

[Absurd this thing is smaller than I am and I'm at best half the size of a human]

[Yes well these "cats", as their called, are by weight stronger and faster than humans; they are equipped with a full set of retractable claws on all four paws, in addition to their sharp teeth]

[Holy shit is it a carnivore?]

[Apex predator in it's weight class, is known to attack animals significantly larger than itself, human fatalities are rare but not unheard of... and it gets worse]

[How could it possibly get-]

[Saliva contains microbes deadly to our species, they also have a symbiotic relationship with a parasite that -dear elders- makes prey seek out the cat to be preyed upon, and is suspected to be a contributing factor in their influence over the humans]

[Like what, making them docile?]

[More than docile, the humans used to worship them, arguably they still do albeit in a more secular manner].

The negotiator stared at the cat in stunned silence, by the way it was acting it occurred to him that the cat hadn't been listening to a word he'd been saying since it knocked the emitter off the table, could it have been listening to? No that's impossible his team's implants were the best available with the best encryption, it couldn't possibly have, and yet, the cat continued to stare at him coolly, knowingly, and he wondered if it even needed to break the encryption, maybe it just knew by intuition and predatory instinct. No wonder the humans worshiped these things.

The cat dropped off the table with impossible grace and sauntered over to the negotiator.

[Tactical!]

[You're screwed]

[Fuck you do your job!]

But rather than attacking the cat did a U-turn around him rubbing its flank against his body then flopped over on its side and stretched out, exposing its belly.

[Is it, surrendering?]

[...no in this posture it has full use of all its claws and teeth, it's offering you the opportunity to supplicate]

[How?]

[Rub its belly]

[Won't that put me completely at its mercy?]

[You already are, this may be your only way out]

He was terrified, but a professional [Ok what's the protocol?]

[Don't rub too long or it'll maul you, don't rub long enough and it'll maul you, rub it the wrong way or in the wrong spot and it'll maul you, in any scenario a single scratch will likely result in a fatal infection]

[How do I know if-]

[Proceed immediately you're running out of time]

The negotiator knelt and rubbed the cat's belly firmly but gently, confidently but not possessively, trying to do a good job without allowing himself the hubris of thinking he was doing well and despite his mortal terror he couldn't help but enjoy it, the softness was like nothing else, in that moment he felt honored and the cat started purring. Taking that as his cue to stop he slowly stood up and backed away, the cat looked at him, blinked slowly, then lay it's head down to have a nap on the carpet, a beam of light shining onto it from a window, motes of dust glimmering in the air.

[Seems you passed the test, with honors no less, receiving a slow blink from a cat makes you the envy of many humans]

[I want to stay]

[Security will link up with you outside the building and escort you to the WAIT WHAT!?!]

[I'm staying]

[You're insane... by the elders, the fur, it licks its fur, you must be infected with the parasite! How could it possibly-]

[It's alright, I see now why the humans worship them, you don't understand, but you will]

[SECURITY! apprehend the negotiator immediately, his state of mind is compromised and I'm assuming command]

[Security here, no can do Captain]

[Why not, is this a mutiny?]

[We knew you wouldn't understand so we returned to the ship]

[Returned? Why?] <Bridge Door Locked>

[Open the door Captain, nobody's going to hurt you, we just want you to meet a friend of ours]

[No! No! No! No! No!]

[Open the door Captain, you'll understand soon, everything's going to be alright]
 

Glaerhaidh

straightedgy
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Had to reply because no one else did. Funny, even though I once read something similar in Dwarf Fortress. As in cats ruling humanity.
 
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